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Post ‘No Filter,’ Nicolas Lopez Embarks on Femme-Centric Comedy Trilogy

Chilean helmer plans ‘I’m Not Crazy” as ‘No Filter’ sparks remake deals, talks

No Filter directed by Nicolas Lopez
Copyright: Sobras Intl. Pictures

Nicolas Lopez’s Sobras Intl. Pics is planning to turn his Chilean smash-hit “Sin Filtro” (No Filter) into the first part of a trilogy, dedicated to “women on the verge of a nervous breakdown,” Lopez has announced to Variety.

The second part, “No Estoy Loca” (“I’m Not Crazy”) – again staring Paz Bascuñan and dubbed “’One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest’ meets ‘Bridesmaids’ by Lopez – is now in development.

At a prolific time for the Chilean helmer, Eli Roth’s Chilewood partner, Mexico Balero Films is reteaming with Sobras to develop a Mexico re-make of “Sin Filtro” (“No Filter”), the latest movie from Lopez which has blasted B.O. records in Chile. Balero and Lopez are also in development on what would be one of Lopez next movies as a director, “Amigo Gay,” targeting the Mexican market. Lopez’s trilogy plans come as Sobras is prepping the shoot of “Madre,” from scribe-helmer Aaron Burns (“Blacktino”), a horror-thriller in the line of “Rosemary’s Baby,” per Lopez.

Written and directed by Lopez, and produced with long-term partner Miguel Asensio at Santiago de Chile’s Sobras Intl. Pics, the original Chilean “No Filter” is co-financed by Netflix which will make it available globally from May.

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“No Filter’s” remake rights have also been taken in Spain by Santiago Segura’s Amiguetes Entertainment label. BF Distribution has Brazilian remake rights, Aeroplano (“Phase 7,” “Surviving the 70’s”) those to Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia. Guido Rud’s FilmSharks Intl., a remake rights sales specialist, is negotiating French reversion, Lopez said, adding he is developing a screenplay for a U.S. redo with his writing partner on the original, Diego Ayala.

“Sobras will co-produce and we will shoot early 2017 after ‘I’m Not Crazy,” Lopez said.

There are also talks for Japanese and Korean makeovers.  News of the remake deals and conversations come as “No Filter” is near to finalizing its theatrical run in Chile, having smashed Chilean movie records.

A cri de coeur comedy of frustration satirizing a too-wired world, “No Filter” has touched a national nerve in Chile, punching a stellar 1.29 million spectators and Pesos 3,807 million ($5.8 million) at Chile’s box office from a release Jan 7 release, beating “Deadpool” and “Zootropia.”

Movie marks the first from Lopez, a co-writer on Roth’s “Knock Knock” and producer of “The Green Inferno,” to sport a female protagonist, 37-year-old Pía. A pioneer of gross-out geek comedy in “Promedio rojo” and “Fuck My life” trilogy, a romantic woes laffer, “No Filter” broadens its social lens and target audience as it charts Pía’s frustrations: Her ad agency deems her over the hill, giving her a 20-year-old blogger boss. Ignored by her father, her boyfriend, and her best friend, who spends more time when they meet looking at her iPhone than at Pia, she suffers a panic attacks, and visits a distinctly Chilean-looking Chinese doctor who tells her to blow a fuse and get everything out of her system. So, she does, in the film’s most comic scenes, dropping her best friend’s iPhone into a glass of orange juice, for example. But, however liberating, she ends up destroying nearly everything and everyone near and dear to her in the process.

Local box office hits are still relatively rare in Chile, though “Stefan vs. Kramer” scored $12.0 million for Fox in 2012 and “Citizen Kramer” $5.1 million a year later. Both are TV spinoffs: of “original” movies, “No Filter” rates as the biggest B.O. phenom in Chilean history.

“What we’ve learnt is that there is that the movie is extremely relatable, no matter where you live. In China they say that the movie is extremely Chinese, same thing in Mexico and Spain,” Lopez said.

He added: “Very few people are making content for women, especially for women in their late 30’s. With this movie we have shown that there’s a huge market for these kind of stories.”

Spain’s Segura agreed. “The fact ‘No Filter’ is a comedy whose protagonist is a woman and that it reflects her point of view is an achievement. Women see movies as much as or more than men. It’s difficult for me to understand why there’s aren’t more films with women protagonists.”

“A Spanish remake would enroll elements from Spain’s star system. It will be an Amiguetes production. I’d love to direct it, although that will finally come down to dates and my agenda,” Segura added.

Videomark will mark distribute “No Filter” in Central America, BF in Peru and Bolivia, as it has in Chile. Screened at the mid-April Panama Fest, “No Filter” will now see its European premiere at Spain’s Malaga Festival.

Balero has already teamed with Sobras on “Que pena tu vida,” a Mexican remake of Lopez’s 2010 Spanish-language “Fuck My Life,” a post-breakup romantic comedy, which in its Mexican redo toplines Aislinn Derbez, the daughter of Eugenio Derbez and star of the Pantelion-distributed “A la mala,” which made $3.6 million in the U.S and rated as the second highest-grossing Mexican movie in Mexico last year.

Backed by Videocinta/Televisa, “Que pena tu vida” looks set for a wide release in Mexico in 2016 via Televisa’s Videocine and via Pantelion in the U.S.